Friday Fun: Luxury Mountain Lodges

I think the Americans must have a different definition of mountain lodges to just about anyone else except the Swiss. Have a look at these! Certainly not the kind I will be coming back to rest in after skiing…

Ready to go canoeing? From Stonewood LLC.
Montana Magica hotel lodge in Chile, from Atlas Obscura.
A dreamy terrace to admire the view, from Style Estate.com
Swimming pools are of course always a bonus. From poolguide.com
When you are isolated on a mountain, you can afford to have big windows. From Once Upon a Better Home.
After a hard day of climbing mountains, isn’t this the perfect spot to come back to? From mountainventures.com
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Friday Fun: More Mountain Escapes

Preparing for my ski trip at the end of this month, so all I can think of currently are the mountains. Sadly, I have the feeling that my accommodation won’t be quite as attractive.

Mountain resort Chumbipemayangste in India. from booking.com
Traditional Japanese ryokan in the mountains. From Japan Quest Journey.
The view from the Alpine Escape studios in Romania.
Mountains and sea – the pinnacle of views! From Annandale Black Tomato, New Zealand.
Maliba Lodge, South Africa, from Pinterest.
Another amazing landscape from New Zealand, Te Kahu.

Friday Fun: Mountain Retreats

Last week, when we were covered in snow, I needed to escape to warmer climes, but the truth is I love nothing more than spectacular, remote mountain retreats… in countries which know how to cope with snow and access and heating!

Mountain cottage in Ogawayama, Japan. From Home Crux.
Anako Lodge in Switzerland, photo credit: Olivier Maire.
The interior of a mountain villa in Sri Lanka, thearksrilanka.com
Hot tubbing in the snow in Pestera, Romania, from Akasha Wellness Retreat.
The luxury end of the spectrum, Finca Paraiso in Costa Rica, from booking.com
Far more modest: the Hen House on Skye, from 15fiscavaig.co.uk

Friday Fun: Heading to the Alps

No matter what I say or do, I cannot forget about mountains and snow in the winter months. I miss them more than I can say, so here are some pictures to delight me (or to help me wallow in my misery).

Chamonix at night, from temmos.com
Thermal spa at Leukerbad in Switzerland, from Le Devoir.com
A summer shot, but still beautiful. Sankt Gallen in Switzerland. From Panoramio.
The Alps in autumn, from HG Wallpapers.com
My favourite vineyards, although the dream of owning one with a chateau recedes daily. From Lavaux.ch
But it’s the skiing I miss most. Chamonix once more, from chamonix.net

 

The Search

I looked around for beauty but I got distracted

by the grey rain streaks echoed on my kitten’s fur

as she sits all pensive on the window sill.

All I notice are water-stained window panes.

 

My brain fries synapses and skips seven beats.

She darts forth on sure-footed pads through the snow

like a lynx in the mountains I no longer have before me

to make up for the fault in my wiring.

 

I missed the deadline on dVerse Poets for the poetic prompt on anthropomorphism of beloved pets, but I am not sure that this poem would have been quite suitable for it anyway. So I am linking it instead to Open Link Night. Join me there for some poetic fun during this month of poetry celebration!

 

Friday Fun: A Place We Once Called Home

This is something I wrote a long time ago, on a very different blog.

My whole life seems to consist of being really happy in some wonderful places – and then having to tear myself away from them.   I love exploring new places but I also like settling in, making those places my own, getting that intimate connection with them that can only come from repetition and routine.  When it’s time to move on, I am excited about the new adventures I will have, but I am also sad to leave a certain part of myself behind.  With each encounter with a different country and culture, I become richer in experience, but somehow also poorer when I leave. 

It’s difficult to explain – but it’s like my soul has been bereft to a certain extent.  I keep the experience locked up somewhere tight within and remember it with such delight from time to time.  But the experience is unrepeatable.  Even if I go back to that country, it will never feel the same again.  If you go back as a tourist to a country where you were once resident, it can be exhilarating as long as you don’t think about it too closely.  Or you can feel shut out, a stranger once more.  It will certainly never again feel like home.

Last week, I had the opportunity to return to our village in France and took some pictures to try and describe the charm of the location (bearing in mind that these pictures do not cover all the seasons, only a sunny day in February).

Our home in France for 4 1/2 years.
Our home in France for 4 1/2 years, complete with climbing tree for Zoe cat.
Our close from the main road.
Our close from the main road.
The field we passed on our walk to school, often full of ponys grazing.
The field we passed on our walk to school, often full of ponys grazing.
The orchard where we could pick plums, apples, pears and quince.
The orchard where we could pick plums, apples, pears and quince.
'We live in the countryside,' my boys used to tell visitors, 'You will smell a lot of natural fertiliser.'
‘We live in the countryside,’ my boys used to tell visitors, ‘You will smell a lot of natural fertiliser.’
The view facing the other way, towards the Alps.
The view facing the other way, towards the Alps.

Friday Fun: Alpine Babies

Cute baby animals are just what the doctor ordered and part of my self-soothing programme. NB: when I say Alpine, I take it to mean any mountain range in Europe – Carpathians, Jura, Pyrenees etc.

Alpine Marmot sunning itself.
Alpine Marmot sunning itself. From Wikipedia.
Alpine bouquetin goats
Alpine bouquetin goats, from prenond.fr
Romanian bisons, from monitorulcj.ro
Romanian bisons, from monitorulcj.ro

 

Baby goat with a jumper.
Baby goat with a jumper, from modernfarmer.com
Lynx in the Jura, from ConiferousForest website.
Lynx in the Jura, from ConiferousForest website.
Another lynx mother and cubs, because they are my favourites.
Another lynx mother and cubs, because they are my favourites. From jura-tourisme.com
Wolf and cub, from zoo.ro
Wolf and cub, from zoo.ro
Wild boar piglets only a few days old explore their surroundings in the wildlife preserve near Ravensburg, Germany, on April 3, 2013. AFP PHOTO / FELIX KAESTLE GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read Felix Kästle/AFP/Getty Images)
Wild boar piglets, Photo creditLFelix Kästle/AFP/Getty Images
Orphaned bear cub and his rescuer, from ccplus.ro
Orphaned bear cub and his rescuer, from ccplus.ro
Even peregrine falcons, one of the most fearsome hunters in the world, are cute as babies.
Even peregrine falcons, one of the most fearsome hunters in the world, are cute as babies. From Pinterest.